Memorial In Motion

Memorial in Motion - Van Attack - 2019 Flyer

In remembrance of the Toronto Van Attack, April 23, 2018, I led a small group in what was intended to be a processional along Yonge Street from Finch to Sheppard.

We managed to play for an hour or so, keeping out of the rain under several sheltered spots along the first few blocks of our route.  Ultimately, the weather thwarted our attempts to make it all the way to Sheppard.  Nevertheless, I was proud to do this and grateful for the support of my lovely Street Brass comrades.
I’ll be arranging this again next year and hope to make it an annual event.  Our music can express aspects of grief, honour, solidarity, compassion and love that can’t be expressed otherwise.  What a gift!
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Jason Sax and Gerry's Trumpet Memorial in Motion 2019
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The Beauty of HONK!

No horn? No problem. Here are some shakers.

No rhythm? No problem. Just make a joyful noise.

You don’t have to even play an instrument; you can dance or juggle or do a hand-stand, etc. The only limit is your imagination.

Anyone can be involved in HONK! – literally, anyone. Among the many characteristics that make the HONK! street band movement beautiful is its inclusivity.

As Tim Sars, of Vancouver’s The Carnival Band, is fond of saying to anyone around to listen: “You’re all in the band.”

The Carnival Band’s website says further: “We believe community music is grounded in collaboration, with the aim of empowering the individuals involved.”  They invite anyone with an interest, even loaning instruments and providing instruction.

The Party Band from Lowell, Massachusetts says, “Open rehearsals encourage players of all skill levels and dedication to attend and join our cause, none are turned away.”

In Toronto, you can come play with Street Brass. We don’t have instruments to lend, sadly, but we can hook you up with some spoons at the very least.

Beyond being directly involved in the music-making, the second key aspect of “inclusivity” involves the participatory nature of the performance, the breaking down of the (very common) barrier between audience and performer. “Bands don’t just play for the people; they play among the people and invite them to join the fun” (honkest.org).

There are so many divisive, polarizing aspects to the world. HONK! actively thwarts this. On the one hand celebrating tremendous diversity in expression (musical and otherwise), HONK! is one tribe and openly invites you to be part of it.

HONK! ON (HONK! Ontario) is July 26-28 in Toronto (details TBA).

HONK ON Postcard